The big picture: With the RDNA 3 generation graphics cards, AMD effectively conceded the top-end performance battle to Nvidia. New information indicates Team Red also plans to let Nvidia take the next round in the enthusiast tier. The reason could be connected to AI hardware, which has begun to compete with gaming GPUs for semiconductors.
Prolific leakers recently claimed that AMD has canceled the upcoming Navi 41 and Navi 42 GPUs. If the rumors are true, the company’s RDNA 4 generation of graphics cards won’t include high-end models and will focus on the mid-range market.
Three sources told Kepler_L2 that the Navi 4-based cards will feature a selection similar to RDNA 1 and Polaris. The most potent consumer RDNA 1 GPU is the Radeon RX 5700 XT, while the two following generations included products in higher tiers like the 6800, 6900, 6950, 7800, and 7900.
Furthermore, All The Watts reported that the upcoming Navi chips only encompass Navi 43 and Navi 44. The GPUs could feature in future products like the RX 8700, 8600, and 8500.
AMD will sacrifice next Radeon gaming GPUs (RX8000) output at TSMC in order to pump up FPGA and GPGPU production.
– Bits And Chips – Eng (@BitsAndChipsEng) September 8, 2023
As for why, Bits And Chips claims AMD is focusing its limited allocation of TSMC semiconductors on building more FPGA and GPGPU chips, indicating the company is sacrificing gaming products for AI. The AI boom brought Nvidia over $10 billion in revenue last quarter. Team Green has diverted some of its manufacturing capacity from its flagship Geforce RTX 4090 cards toward the immensely profitable H100 AI GPUs.
Tech companies have recently warned that the boom in demand for AI server hardware could create new GPU shortages. Nvidia and TSMC say the problem’s origin is a lack of chip-on-wafer-on-substrate packaging – a crucial but expensive component of the AI hardware manufacturing process.
The Radeon RX 8000 series will compete against Nvidia’s upcoming RTX 5000 series. Both lineups are expected to arrive in 2024, but Nvidia’s cards could slip into 2025. Details on performance are scant, but RTX 5000, based on TSMC’s 3nm process node, could significantly improve upon Team Green’s latest Ada Lovelace series.
If AMD can’t respond to Nvidia’s enthusiast-class next-generation products, the mid-tier segment will arguably become more important for sales. Eight of the 10 most popular GPUs on the August 2023 Steam hardware survey are midrange, and all are over two years old.